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Posted: 1:28 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012
By Allison Latos
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Two weeks after the Democratic National Convention, there are still signs of the convention's stamp on Charlotte. Eyewitness News interviewed Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics based in Pennsylvania, about how his company will determine if the DNC boosted the local economy. "Easily half of our efforts will be collecting data," said Sacks. That will include reviewing financial records from the DNC and the host committee. Sacks said he has not received the information yet, but they will focus more on how much and where the money raised was spent. The company will also study how many people stayed at hotels each day of the convention across six area counties, then compare those figures with hotel rates from 2011. Within the next two weeks, staff will survey local businesses like Phil's Tavern. The owner, Ellen Kemp, wants a chance to participate because she isn't happy with her DNC experience. She sent staff home and lost money overstocking food. "We've been so disappointed we really haven't sat down to look at the figures," said Kemp. "Time heals. Maybe the longer we wait it won't hurt as bad." Kemp believes the DNC was a success for Charlotte as a whole. Sacks said his study will show whether Charlotte's legacy will last. Sacks also defended the CRVA's move to hire an out-of-state company. He said Tourism Economics, which studied the impact of the London Olympics, will give Charlotte a credible tool to measure conventions and events in the future. The study should be complete in 2 months.
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